Lauren Dana is Shermans Travel's editorial assistant and resident social media extraordinaire.
Rendering of The Manor nightclub on Scarlet Lady Photo courtesy of the cruise line Save
8 Things to Know About the New Virgin Voyagesby Lauren Dana | February 21, 2019
Ready for Virgin Voyages? The new cruise line from Richard Branson, who has already brought his glamorous signature style to airlines and hotels, will debut in 2020 with the launch of its first ship, Scarlet Lady. We recently got a sneak peek at what’s in store for the much-hyped line. Here’s what we learned.
1. It’s Only for Grownups
Virgin Voyages will be strictly adults-only, and every passenger must be at least 18 years old to come on board. That means leaving your kids at home is mandatory.
2. There’s a Tattoo Parlor Onboard
For a one-of-a-kind cruising experience (and a truly lifelong memory), you’ll be able to get a tattoo onboard Scarlet Lady. The tattoo parlor, called Squid Ink, will be staffed with two resident artists and will utilize vegan ink. You can also get a piercing or book a permanent makeup application here.
3. Some of the Included Perks Will Save You Money
Your cruise fare includes all dining (more on that below) and fitness classes, as well as a few amenities that often cost extra on cruises, namely wifi, gratuities, and nonalcoholic beverages. The last three items can cost hundreds of extra dollars per person on other lines, so we’re excited about this extra value. Additionally, the cruise line will also be offering water refilling stations throughout the ship.
4. It Takes a New Approach to the Private Island Experience
The Beach Club at Bimini, Virgin Voyages’ exclusive private beach club in the Bahamas, is currently under construction, and we expect it to be the hippest cruise line spot in the Caribbean. You can expect some of the usual amenities – daybeds and hammocks, cocktails, food, and music. But this will be the only beach club with Grammy winner Mark Ronson as its founding DJ. He’ll kick off the beach club’s “Resident-Sea” program, which will bring cruisers music in a relaxed, beachside setting.
5. The Itineraries Are Perfect for An Extended Weekend
All Virgin Voyages sailings are either four or five nights, ideal for an easy escape. The cruise line will debut with three itineraries starting in April, 2020. Havana After Dark (offered as both four- and five-night itineraries) calls on The Beach Club and in Havana; Mayan Sol (five nights) drops anchor in Costa Maya and The Beach Club; and Dominican Daze (five nights) includes port calls in Puerto Plata and The Beach Club. All sailings embark and disembark from Miami.
6. The Cabins Are Slick
Although construction isn’t complete on Scarlet Lady, a series of cabin renderings gives us some clues about their design. Along with typical interior, oceanview, and balcony cabins, there’s also an array of upgraded staterooms (dubbed RockStar suites). No matter which one you book, expect modern, statement-making décor (think lots of red); well-lit mirrors; rain showers; and tech-based amenities like mood lighting. Interior cabins start at $725 per person (depending on the itinerary), and the MegaRockstar suite starts at $3,350 per person. If you’re looking to cruise solo, be prepared to pay a pretty penny. Single supplements range from 51 to 93 percent, depending on the itinerary and the sailing.
7. The Food Will Break Convention
Richard Branson hates buffets – which is why they will be non-existent on Virgin Voyages. Instead, passengers can choose from an array of more than 20 eateries that will offer a range of cuisines, from Korean barbecue to Mexican. Some restaurants will stay open late – just in case you’re craving a midnight snack. Bonus: Branson said that all the tables in the restaurants are safe to dance on, if that gives a sense of who Virgin Voyages is trying to lure to their ships.
8. The Entertainment Is Cutting Edge
Expect out-there and out-of-the-ordinary entertainment onboard (i.e. no Broadway shows, ever). Virgin Voyages has teamed up with some of the most interesting and vital performance companies out there, including , PigPen Theater Co., and The 7 Fingers Creation Collective to create one-of-a-kind performances. Additionally, Scarlet Lady’s main performance space, known as The Red Room, can transform into four different configurations. The Scarlet Lady will feature six original shows; hopefully one will feature the amazing drag queens that came along to the line’s inaugural event.